Florence is an amazing city, and there is so much to enjoy here. Between amazing food and art exhibits and the best museums in Florence, you can fill every day with cultural experiences. You might want to plan some day trips as well during your stay in Florence, possibly to go wine tasting or to head out to the Tuscan countryside and see the sights. It is actually very simple to head out on a half-day trip from Florence, and you should make sure that you do not rule out some of the day trips from Florence that might have looked fun just because you think logistics will get in the way.
The first thing that you must do when you head to Florence is to make sure that you put your luggage into secure storage. You will not want to have your bags in the way as you enjoy any of these day trips from Florence. Put your luggage into secure storage with Bounce and travel out to see the rolling hills and even Medieval town locations that are easy to reach from Florence. Florence day trips are so much more fun if you are not worried about your luggage, and much of central Italy is full of cobbled streets and small alleys that are not made for dragging luggage with you.
If you are ready to learn more about the day trips that you want to take from Florence, you need to keep reading!
How to get out of Florence
The train is one of the best ways to enjoy the best day trips from Florence. You can get to almost anywhere in the region on the Italo trains that have the main hub here. Tickets do not cost an arm and a leg, and you can get to lots of fun things in just over an hour. Make sure that you look at the train schedule before you head to the train station so that you can get yourself organized before you leave the city.
You can also rent a car to head out of the city on day trips, although you will likely not want to hang onto your car once your trip is done. There is almost nowhere that is harder to use or park a car in than in Florence, but the highways that head out from the city center are an excellent option if you are interested in planning a day trip.
Best Day Trips From Florence
From Florence to the Chianti Region
This is one of the most popular day trips from Florence. You will want to take this day trip to go wine tasting and to see the Tuscan countryside. You can actually enjoy riding bikes and hiking around this region as well if you are outdoorsy. There are so many lovely towns to visit in this area that date back to Roman times. One of these is San Gimignano, and you can easily spend most of a day in this medieval town that was once a Roman center for trade as well. San Gimignano, like most of the places in this area, is within easy proximity to many of the best Chianti region wineries.
How to Get to the Chianti Region
This part of Florence is easily accessed via car, and that will likely be your best option. Most, if not all, of the quaint villages here don't have a train station. The rolling hills and various historic center locations make for a really enjoyable drive. Getting to the various parts of the Chianti hills is also really easy if you book with a tour group, and this is what many people do when they have a variety of locations that they want to get to see on their day trip from Florence.
From Florence to Pisa
When thinking about day trips from Florence, Pisa has to be on your list of things to do. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Piazza del Duomo is just one of the many things that you can see at this historic center. The famous leaning tower takes its place alongside the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Baptistery, and Campo Santo in this large square.
There is a lot of renaissance art to be enjoyed here, and you will love the 13th to 14th-century mosaic in the apse by Cimabue. The Museo dell'Opera del Duomo is the best place to get a good view of the leaning tower, and the ornate decorations on the outside of it can be clearly seen from here.
How to Get to Pisa
To get to the leaning tower and all of the art and historical items here, you can ride the train or take a car. You can also book a full-day trip that includes a stop in the Tuscan countryside. Booking full day trips from Florence can be the best bet for your money, and you will not have to make any plans if you allow the guided tour to handle your itinerary for the day.
From Florence to Bologna
This is the right trip to take if you love shopping and if you want to enjoy wandering the streets between old buildings of this medieval hilltop town. This is one of the most popular day trips from Florence, and the towers here are almost as well-known as the leaning tower itself. The Piazza Maggiore and Piazza del Nettuno are two of the famous market centers in the city, and they are located near the remnants of the city walls that date back to the 16th century. You can see why it isn't hard to find amazing shopping in Bologna! You might also want to make a stop to see the still unfinished Basilica of San Petronius.
How to Get to Bologna
This location is about a half hour by train from Florence, and you will enjoy a lovely ride through the rolling hills. You will probably want to choose this travel option over any of the others available due to how affordable it is and how short the ride is. You can also use a car to get yourself here, just like with trips from Florence to San Gimignano, but for Bologna, it's probably not worth the gas or trying to find parking.
From Florence to the Cinque Terre
These five picturesque seaside towns are perched on the cliffs, and the entire area is a designated Unesco World Heritage Site. The cities are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, and all of them are beautiful and are clustered around tiny harbors. You can hike here or shop or enjoy delicious food and wine. The place itself is the attraction here, and you will be able to take a full day to enjoy this national park. This is sometimes a stop along some wine tour routes as well, just because of the location's beauty and authenticity.
Cinque Terre is one of the best Florence day trips for those who want to be immersed in local culture and who want to see the way that life was lived in this area many years ago. The colorful houses and the beautiful little town harbors are as quintessentially Italian as the famous leaning tower. These are some of the only city locations let that offer so much charm, and spending time at the coast makes this one of the best day trips from Florence as well.
How to Get to the Cinque Terre
The best way to get to the Cinque Terre is by renting a van. If you have enough people in your party, you can get private service for your trip. You can also ride the train to this location. Many tours will include boat rides between villages or transport between places, but if you are not on a tour, you can still hop on the train for a low price to go from village to village.
From Florence to Siena
In medieval times, this city gave Florence a run for its money. The medieval streets here will show you the wealth of this area, and the famous Palio horse race is hosted here to this day. This is a walled town that offers you access to the main square as well as a beautiful cathedral and buildings that are decorated with stained glass and gilt. The Tuscan sun shines down on the brick and marble of the city, and you can shop, enjoy delicious food, and sightsee to your heart's content. Most people think of the middle ages as a time of cultural darkness, but this town will prove that this was not the case. This is one of the most popular Florence day trip options that you can pick.
How to Get to Siena
The train will take you to Siena in just under two hours, but you can also drive here if you have rented a car. You might also want to just book a tour and be delivered here as you visit other hilltop town locations and places like olive groves. An organized tour of this area can be a great idea, but you don't have to feel pressured to make this commitment. Your Florence day trip can be really simple when you just get back on the bus at each location you are visiting, but you might miss out on some things if you have to keep to a tour guide schedule.
Florence to Prato
This location is about 15 miles (25 km) from Florence. This is a great choice for a quick trip from Florence, and if you love art, there is so much to see here that you will love. The fresco painting museum is a must-see, and you might also want to check out the Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci for contemporary art exhibits.
The cathedral in this city is very beautiful and unique as well as being quite old, and most people make a stop in this charming Tuscan town just for the cathedral. The cathedral also houses frescoes that Filippo Lippi painted between 1452 and 1466. This is a beautiful city that offers you access to so much history and art that you will have a great time when you visit.
How to Get to Prato
The train is a great option for your trip to Prato, and you can drive here as well. If you take a guided tour, you will be brought by bus in most cases. This is not a big trek from Florence, so most of the usual options will get you there with ease. You can also combine this day trip from Florence with other stops if you want to make the most of your day away from the heart of Florence.
Florence Day Trips Are Very Enjoyable
There are so many reasons that you might want to enjoy a day trip away from Florence, and the area that this lovely city is located in makes it almost necessary to go out and see the countryside. From Cinque Terre to the intact city walls of medieval San Gimignano, there are many amazing things that you might want to see and experience outside of Florence itself. You can always combine adventures as well and take a wine tour on the same day that you visit the main square of an ancient city.
If you are planning to take a day trip from Florence, make sure that your luggage is safely stored so that you don't have to worry about your things. Having your hands free makes your day of adventuring much easier, and you won't regret taking the time to store your bags before you start having fun!